“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:16-17

Forget all the slimming diet plans, the exercise for longevity directives, the meditate for calm guidelines, the whatever healthy living ideas on which to stake your health, the most powerful protection and enhancement of your health, fortified by scientific studies, is a genuine attitude of gratitude; a heart of thanksgiving toward all things in your life; this will do more for your personal health than anything else. One scientific researcher who was not himself a bit religious, joined by many other researchers, verified these findings: an authentic and consistent thanksgiving attitude will do much more for your health than any other regimen or alternative pursuit. 

Most people do not give thanks in all things, or even in some things. It is not the nature of people in a fallen world with a fallen nature to frequently express thanks or to be genuinely grateful, even for difficult things. There are numerous irritants in life. Murphy’s Law, the adage that anything that can go wrong will, helps the irritating nature of life be a fairly constant element with which to cope. It is that side of life which can take away an attitude of gratitude. The result of not being genuinely thankful adds stress, anxiety, unhappiness, concern, and emotional weightiness.

But it is just not merely being thankful, it is being thankful to a specific One, the actual One who provides. Frequently we see family gatherings on TV or in movies where different family members go around a circle sharing things for which they are most thankful, unfortunately without any mention of to whom they are thankful! The thankfulness which enhances your health is the recognition that it is the Lord God who provides all good things, and who makes all things turn out for your good, even those things which at first appear to be no good to you at all. (Romans 8:28)

Thankfulness to God adopts the thankful and fully accepting attitude of Mary, Jesus’ mother, when she was told that she, a virgin, would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit: she answered Gabriel, the Lord’s messenger, “I am the Lord’s servant. Be it unto me according to your word.” She said this with gratitude to the One who sent the message, and with a total acceptance of all its implications for her. Just take the time to read Mary’s Song, named the Magnificat, from Luke 1:46-55. It magnificently displays Mary’s attitude of thanksgiving to all that the Lord had done and would do. Not many suffered as Mary did in her life time, but she had a heart of gratitude, and her Lord and son would bless her, even in the midst of a “sword” which pierced her heart. Her song exposes a heart of thanksgiving which would do quite well in expressing your own attitude of gratitude to Him who does all things well.

Once again there is much in your life, even with various sufferings, for which to give thanks this Thanksgiving, and indeed every day of your life. I think I am on very safe ground to say your gratitude to the Lord will particularly enhance your health and your life. It may not take away your physical cancer, though it might, but it will give you a heart of peace, and an outlook on life of enormous joy. And the joy of the Lord is your strength!

“You are the living Truth! All wisdom dwells in you, the Source of every skill, the one eternal TRUE! O great I AM! In you we rest, sure answer to our every quest.”

(3rd verse of Margaret Clarkson’s hymn, “We Come, O Christ To You,” 1957)

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